So we did find out that Elder Peters is serving in the Kasoa 2nd Ward in an area known as "Top Town" He's doing a lot of biking and trying hard to find new people to teach and baptize. Unfortunately he could not get his camera to talk to the computer in the Café where he was, so no Photos again this week. :(
Dear Family & Friends,
It feels like only yesterday I stepped off the plane here into Ghana for the first time. Mission goes FAST! So I’m doing my best to make the most of it. Apparently the mission is changing a lot right now; there are plenty of missionaries that are going home, and a lot of new missionaries that are coming.
I have learned that having the skill of a super good memory will benefit you so much on a mission. This transfer, being the first time I have been transferred, I have realized that every 6 weeks to 18 weeks you will have to memorize several miles of a new area, an entire new ward, all new investigators, contact about 5 new people every day and remember their names, and everything about them, find new places to eat, figure out how to bargain with a different shop lady who doesn’t know you yet. A lot of memorizing. Oh ya and you’re supposed to continue to try learning 2 or so new languages. Asemole! (It’s no small thing in Twi)
I have an awesome district right now and elder Varo is an awesome companion and leader for our district. I will be honest before I came a lot of missionaries told me that Varo was “apostate”, that he wasn’t very serious about the work, but so far he has proved that entirely wrong to me. We had our district meeting on Wednesday and he sat us all down and told us, "Mission is about working hard, if you’re not baptizing every month in Kasoa you’re not serving to your fullest capacity. Also if you aren't enjoying you mission your not doing mission right. We work as a team, in Fiji we are all brothers it is the same with this district." We work hard to fellowship with the members really well, because getting referrals from members is much more common if they have close relationships with the missionaries. Last month our district had 7 baptisms, most of them referrals from members. Also in district meeting we took 10 minutes to share about how our families from home are doing, and to plan our P-day activities. This week we are going to ShopRite to buy ingredients for our Fijian dinner on Sunday. Fijian's can COOK DANG GOOD FOOD!!! As elder Varo and I are biking to appointments we talk about Fiji and I want to go there someday really bad because it sounds really cool. Elder Varo played rugby on the Fijian National Team and gave up a full-ride scholarship to some big rugby school in New Zealand to come on a mission. He chose to serve instead of becoming a pro rugby player. I think that someday he will be though. Right now he thinks that he will try to go to BYU to play on their rugby team. I can’t get the SD card to work in this computer otherwise I would send pictures, but he’s ripped.
Elder Paddon is from California and is from my MTC group. He played water polo in high school and is going to become a Navy SEAL when he goes home from his mission. He has become one of my very close friends through the MTC and through service with him. last night we got to bed kinda late because we were up just talking about SEALs, goofy things we did in high school, what we want to do when we get home, how cool it is that we are in Ghana, the types of missionaries we want to be, and the type of men it will turn us into. It was a good little chat.
Elder Friday is a goofy Nigerian who can rip nasty farts on command. He is really good at dancing and playing soccer. He is a little quiet but I like him.
So this week we were riding our bikes and it was super sunny and hot. We rolled up to an investigators door and knocked on the door. She answered and looked at the sky, we turned around and also took a look and then we heard the beat of the rain drums. We yelled OCHINA! (Tomorrow) as we sprinted for our bikes and she slammed her door. Then the heavens opened and it RAINED like there was no tomorrow. It’s weird because its aramadan (the dry season) right now so it shouldn't be raining like this. Also one day we were biking and we rounded a corner and there was a heard of like 30 cows romping their way up the road toward us. It was a bit of a tight squeeze but we made it through unscathed by an angry cow or two. Kasoa feels a lot more like West Africa. Mamponse felt a lot more like how I would envision Mexico City slum would look. There’s a lot more bush here, and it is considered a pretty dry area so it makes me wonder how it will feel to go to the real bush. Our apartment is a lot smaller than Mamponse, but it’s nice. Kasoa has a lot of Muslims so there is a bit of a different culture here. There weren’t as many Muslims in Mamponse. We are teaching this guy named Abdul who is a Muslim. he welcomed me and said " yes yes, you are welcome to anything here in my home, if you want to eat here, eat my food, if you need to bath, come use my shower (as he points to his outdoor shower stall with a popo tree over it), what’s mine is yours. once again you are welcome!" its funny to teach him because if you ask him if he is ok, or if there is anything we can to do help him, he will always say "oh no, by His grace, I am fine, once again you are welcome" and then he will shake our hands. One time when we were teaching him he shook our hands 7 times in a single lesson. I think that he has potential to progress to baptism, but it may take some time. I feel like that missionary that is just kinda planting seeds for him right now. Who knows? Maybe one day.
I have slacked off in my scripture memorization because I have been trying to memorize a new area and a ton of new faces.
We were teaching this lady from Nigeria whose name is Vitalis and I had run out of restoration pamphlets for the day so I gave her a gospel of Jesus Christ one. She read it and we followed up and she asked a question that really made me think and kinda scramble to find scriptures to explain because I hadn't introduced the Book of Mormon yet so I had to work solely from the Bible. A lot of the time people here won’t accept something unless it comes from the Bible. I try really hard not to Bible bash. The question that she asked was where does it say that you need the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost? I tried to explain to her that there is a difference between receiving the Holy Ghost and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. She wasn't having it. I used 2 Timmothy1:6-7 that talks about the gift of God being received by the laying on of hands, that God gives us the spirit of power and a sound mind. I think the confusion comes from other churches here in Ghana. Most other churches here believe that when you "receive the Holy Ghost" means that you are speaking in tongues and acting like a wild animal. There is a church right behind our apartment and they go all night long on Saturday night "HOLY GHOST FIRE! HOLY GHOST FIRE! You’d think they'd get bored at some point but nope, all night the same 3 words occasionally ended with a JESUS! So people believe that receiving the Holy Ghost is that. I was kicking myself that I didn't have a restoration pamphlet to give her because if she new about the Book of Mormon, and about Joseph Smith, and how prophets work and the godhead then it would have been SO much easier to explain. The Book of Mormon is so simple and clear, I have really strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon here on my mission. Once I have introduced the Book of Mormon to investigators I try to use it as much as I can to help them gain a testimony of it because people really struggle to read here. Once in Mamponse, we were teaching a lady who refused to accept the message of the restoration because it didn't specifically say in the Bible that Joseph Smith would restore Christ’s church and bring forth another book of scripture called the Book of Mormon. We had been visiting with this lady for a while so I asked her; ok it doesn't say these things specifically in the Bible. But how do you know the Bible is true? She couldn't really answer. I said, I know the Bible is true because I have prayed about it and God has let me know that it is. It’s the same with these things that we are sharing with you; you have to ask God to know if his words are true otherwise you are just blindly following.
BTW there are probably plenty of spelling errors and missing letters because the keyboard I’m using really sucks…(so DAD fixed the letter before sending it out.)
There is a kid a lot like George in this area too accept for his name is Francis, but he goes and proselytes with Paddon and Friday. I will meet him every now and again but it was his birthday this past Saturday and he invited us over to his house for fufu. It was so good. He’s a really cool kid, I like him a lot.
Send me the hammock ASAP, that one is gonna be nice to have, especially when it’s super hot. I will sleep outside under our mango tree
I love you guys a ton!
-Love Elder Peters